THE ART OF WAITING AND ENJOYING LAYOVER IN THE AIRPORT
I always enjoy transit at every airport during the trip.
Often I heard complaints from my friends when they had to transit. They get bored every time they had to wait for the next flight. Some friends before departure seemed depressed. Besides they did not like to fly, they could not smoke. They must waited until they arrived in Singapore. It’s hard for them to wait another 27 hours to smoke.
I did not feel the same way. I enjoyed the wait at the airport.
Enjoy the Art of Waiting
I moved from one area to another. If I was thirsty, I just took water to the nearest water dispenser (for free). If I wanted to drink a warm drink, I went to the café.
At one of the terminals in London Heathrow, there was my favorite place to hang out. Passengers ran to catch their flights, cabin crews walked to the next task and people waited for flights while eating, window shopping or sleeping.
Tired of sitting down, I went in and out of the store just for window shopping. I walked from one end to the other. I entered the souvenir shop in London and found a miniature red telephone booth.
If I tired of walking around or up and down the elevator, I found a seat and watched the crew preparing for airplanes, flights taking off and landing or watching the sunset.
Sometimes I took out my tablet and started reading a novel.
I had a friend after landing the plane, he told me to meet again at the departure gate and went the other way. He had a favorite sofa to sleep on. If he was lucky his favorite sofa was empty but sometimes he only waited for an hour.
Upgrade to Business Class
The second year of my work experience in the Turks and Caicos Islands, I almost missed my flight to Singapore. Our ticket was just paid and we received at the airport within 15 minutes before departure.
We ran to the flight counter and rushed to immigration. Then checked the bag at the gate. The officer found a small pair of scissors in my bag. He asked to take it out. Because of panic, I forgot the combination number of bags. I had to try several times until my friend touched my hand and calmly said, “Slowly, do not panic”.
I took a deep breath and tried again. After the second tried, my bag lock was open. I gave my scissors to the officers and ran after my friends.
Our name announced several times. We heard it when we were at the check-in counter. We ran like sprinters.
The flight attendant directed my two friends to the backseat. Then the others directed me and a friend to sit on the front side. Thirty seconds later the door closed and the plane moved. Moments later when I was still panting the plane took off.
Geez … we almost missed the plane.
Then after calm and breathing normally, I looked around. I realized that the seats were different. Bigger and comfortable. I remembered that my previous chair was not like this. I just realized we were in business class.
One of the stewards came and asked what we wanted to drink. My friend drank wine, they poured into a special wine glass. I asked for orange juice and she poured it into a tall glass. Not long our table prepared for lunch and the stewardesses presented the menu for lunch.
The UK Transit Visa
Honestly, the easiest journey from Indonesia to Turks and Caicos is through the UK than the U.S. No drama. Once I traveled from Asia to the Caribbean via the US. Really exhausting and always scare me. I had to leave from 5 airports in 5 different countries. Must go through the same procedure at any time to go abroad such as taking baggage from luggage conveyor, check baggage at customs, immigration and check at the gate.
Another awesome thing when I had a stopover in London (headed to the Caribbean or Indonesia/Bali) was my luggage could get straight to the last destination. I did not have to struggle in line at the airport.
Once I was stranded in London Heathrow. London Heathrow Airport (2009) terminal 5 closed at 9 pm and reopens at 5 am.
The terminal was new and did not accommodate the person flying the next day. The terminal closed before midnight. One of the officers came to see me and asked for my ticket. They took me to the immigration desk. I got a British transit visa stamp for 24 hours and headed straight out.
What could I do after 10 pm?. All places closed I only saw people sleeping on benches or chairs. Even the coffee/tea seller at the booth did not open. I forced to wait in the departure hall.
My second 24-hour transit visa I went for the city tour of London with friends.
Interesting attractions and free convenience at Changi Airport
I like transit at Singapore Changi Airport. I usually stop here for flights from Singapore to one of the cities in the U.S. or London.
There are a lot of entertainment here and always changes every time I came here. Usually a year twice I had to pass this country.
I went straight to the food court to taste Asian cuisine. Missed the taste of Asian food after twelve months working overseas. Then I walked around the terminal from one side to the other. Tired of walking around, I chose a seat in the back while looking at the plane taking off.
I loved to go to the butterfly garden or orchid garden. So refreshing. Or I could watch a movie in one of the places around the terminal.
Free city tour in Taipei
Who does not like free city tours? When I received my annual vacation ticket, I knew that I will spend half a day in Taipei. I started searching online and knew that I could go without a visa as long as I had a U.S. visa.
Fortunately, there is a free city tour provided by the authority that will be to a third country.
Actually, there are many things that we can enjoy when traveling a long journey. Often I take advantage of stopovers in some countries and stay a week or two weeks.
There are many ways to enjoy ourselves. Yes…No???.
This post is also available in: Indonesian